If you want to travel from the heart of Arizona to the coast of California, then you may want to take a Flagstaff to Long Beach road trip. Red rock formations, gorgeous desert vistas, and island wonders await you at some of America’s greatest national parks. Lakes, desert flora and fauna, and more are on display at some wonderful state parks in Arizona and California. There are some fun cities and attractions along the way as well, so you’ll have no trouble building an epic road trip itinerary from Flagstaff to Long Beach.
Grand Canyon National Park
Before you head west on Interstate 40 from Flagstaff, you’ll probably want to take the chance to travel an hour and 20 minutes north to visit Grand Canyon National Park. This iconic national park draws millions of visitors each year due to its majestic gorge and sweeping desert scenery, so how could you miss paying a visit on your road trip from Flagstaff to Long Beach? Mather Point, Roaring Springs, Monument Creek Vista, Yavapai Point, and more await you at this jaw-dropping national park in Arizona.
Zion National Park
If you’re willing to travel four hours northeast of Kingman, Arizona, then you’ll be able to visit Zion National Park, which also features a stunning canyon and amazing desert views. Zion Canyon, the Virgin River, a tall, river-filled gorge called The Narrows, and many other great features call this park home. Multiple trails of varying difficulty levels take you through gorges, by rock formations, and through ponderosa forests.
Death Valley National Park
Those in search of an extreme desert environment should travel two hours and 20 minutes from Barstow, California, to visit Death Valley National Park. This park is aptly named as it is an inhospitable and, at times, deadly place thanks to its extremely high heat and low annual rainfall totals. In fact, the hottest temperature ever recorded on earth was noted in Death Valley in the early 1900s. Numerous adventurers flock here, however, in order to pit themselves against this environment and see the stark, barren beauty within this park. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird-watching, stargazing, and more are all popular activities here. If you’re willing to brave the elements, you’ll get to visit awesome places like Badwater Basin, Desolation Canyon, and Furnace Creek.
Joshua Tree National Park
The entrance to Joshua Tree National Park is only an hour and 15 minutes south of Ludlow, California. The beauty and majesty of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts can be seen at this desert park that’s not quite as extreme as Death Valley. You’ll still be able to find plenty of rugged rock formations and desert scenery thanks to the multiple fault lines in the park. There are, of course, plenty of Joshua trees in the park, but there are also numerous cacti, yuccas, and wildflowers on display. Climbing, biking, backcountry camping, hiking, and more are typical activities to pursue at Joshua Tree National Park.
Channel Islands National Park
Before you reach the end of your Flagstaff to Long Beach RV road trip, you can keep driving west for an hour and a half past Irwindale, California, and visit Channel Islands National Park. You can only reach this unique California national park via boat, ferry, or seaplane, but the additional travel is worthwhile since you’ll get to explore this unique island environment at your journey’s end. Five channel islands totaling nearly 250,000 acres provide you with plenty of opportunities for exploration on land and sea. Diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and canoeing are popular here; on land, you can go hiking and backcountry camping.
Lake Havasu State Park
Lake Havasu State Park is only 20 minutes south of the outskirts of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Gorgeous Lake Havasu is perfect for boating, swimming, fishing, and other water sports. Some lovely trails take you around Lake Havasu, into the lowland desert, and through the diverse Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden.
Buckskin Mountain State Park
Fifty minutes south of Lake Havasu City and 35 minutes from Lake Havasu State Park is Buckskin Mountain State Park. There are multiple places to swim and boat, and a robust trail network provides numerous ways to explore this rugged park. You can also play volleyball on the park’s court and view the ruins of an old copper mine.
Saddleback Butte State Park
If you want to see Joshua Trees outside of Joshua Tree National Park, then you should drive 40 minutes west of Victorville, California, to visit Saddleback Butte State Park. These distinctive trees and a wide variety of other desert plants and animals are all displayed here. Hiking, camping, horseback riding, and stargazing are among the fun activities you can look forward to.
Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area
Before you drop down into the Los Angeles area on the final leg of your road trip from Flagstaff to Long Beach, you should drive 15 minutes east of Cajon Junction, California, to visit Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area. This gorgeous park is located in the San Bernardino National Forest on lovely Silverwood Lake, so there are plenty of great places to swim, fish, boat, and hike.
Chino Hills State Park
Chino Hills State Park is about 20 minutes from San Dimas, California, in the midst of the Los Angeles area. You won’t be thinking about big city life, however, while you’re exploring this park’s 90 miles of trails. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders alike enjoy exploring the rolling hills, meadows, canyons, and ridges of this lovely park.
Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel
Visiting the Grand Canyon on your Flagstaff to Long Beach RV road trip is a must, so why not make the experience as enjoyable as possible by taking advantage of the benefits offered by the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel, which is only five minutes from the outskirts of Williams, Arizona? They have an RV park on the premises, so you can camp there and use amenities like a pavilion, a fitness trail, and a basketball court. Then, you can take a restored steam engine all the way north to Grand Canyon National Park through gorgeous scenery.
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is 10 minutes south of Topock, Arizona. The refuge itself preserves more than 37,500 acres along the Colorado River, so there are plenty of places to boat and fish. There’s also a wilderness area in the park that draws in plenty of hikers each year.
California Botanic Garden
California Botanic Garden is only five minutes off of your route in Claremont, California. The premises are 86 acres large and are home to over 22,000 native Californian plants. Locations like Fay’s Wildflower Meadow, California Desert Gardens, Fan Palm Oasis, and Redwood Grove await.
Paramount Drive-In Theaters
Since you’re in the Los Angeles area, why not indulge in a beloved American pastime by catching a movie at Paramount Drive-In Theaters? This large drive-in theater has two big screens showing multiple recent releases. General admission is $10 per ticket; children 5-8 years old pay $4 while children under 5 get in free.
Aquarium of the Pacific
Just because you’ve reached Long Beach doesn’t mean you can’t add a coastal attraction to your road trip itinerary from Flagstaff to Long Beach. Aquarium of the Pacific is only five minutes beyond your final destination, so it’s a great place to end your journey. At this aquarium, you can visit great exhibits like Shark Lagoon, Lorikeet Forest, and Steelhead Story.
When you visit Kingman, you’ll be able to stop by interesting places like the Historic Route 66 Museum and Desert Diamond Distillery. There are also some great outdoor attractions, like Hualapai Mountain Park and Metcalf Park, nearby.
Victorville is home to excellent tourist attractions, including the California Route 66 Museum and Mojave Narrows Regional Park. There are multiple quality campgrounds in the area where you can park your RV for the night.
San Bernardino, California
The Original McDonald’s Site and Museum and the Kelso Depot are just a few of the places you can visit in San Bernardino. You won’t have to look far for top-notch dump stations and campgrounds in the area.
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Once you’ve reached Rancho Cucamonga, you’ll be able to stop by locations like Victoria Gardens and the historic Cucamonga Service Station. There are plenty of welcoming campgrounds nearby for your convenience.
Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels needs little introduction. Universal Studios Hollywood and the La Brea Tar Pits are just some of the fabulous attractions you can visit in LA. As can be expected of such a large city, there are plenty of dump stations and campgrounds close by.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Flagstaff to Long Beach, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Flagstaff or Long Beach.
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